New Belgium Oakspire

I’m a big fan of bourbon, so when I saw this on shelves, it had to come home with me.

ABV: 9%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Knob Creek is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey produced by Beam Suntory at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. It is one of the four Jim Beam small batch bourbon brands targeted for the high-end liquor market. Its siblings in the line are Booker’s, Baker’s, and Basil Hayden’s. The primary expression of the brand is bottled at 100 proof (higher than the typical 80 that is the minimum required by U.S. Federal labeling requirements). Knob Creek was formerly aged for nine years, but is now sold with no age statement. Knob Creek comes in a rectangular bottle with a corked or twist-on cap and wax-sealed top. The bourbon has a dark, golden-brown color. According to the company, this is due to the relatively long aging process, which allows it to absorb more sugar from the wood than is the case for the other Jim Beam Small Batch brands. The company describes the flavor as ‘rich, sweet, woody, full-bodied, almost fruity’, and the aroma as ‘toasted nuts, grain, oak’. In 2009, Beam ran a campaign to publicize their shortage of Knob Creek bourbon. Demand exceeded the 2000 forecast, when the stock began the aging process.”

Random: This is a collaboration beer between Knob Creek and New Belgium.

The beer poured with a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was brown and clear with some visible carbonation. The nose had vanilla and bourbon along with some sweet molasses. The taste was sweet and had some vanilla along with caramel. There was some raisin and fig as well and only a very small amount of bourbon. There were notes of molasses and the beer was just too sweet for me. The body was on the thicker side with lighter carbonation. The booze was relatively well hidden. It had a lengthy finish with molasses and caramel. A bottle was $2.83, which came to $.24 per ounce. I thought given the collaboration, this would be amazing, but it just missed the mark for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

Tonight’s beer was one of the few pumpkin beers that I haven’t tried that grace the shelves of Jersey. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6.4%

Style: Pumpkin Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Enough with the run-of-the-mill pumpkin beers. I’m not interested in an ale that takes cues from a frozen coffee drink, and neither are you. That’s why I made Atomic Pumpkin. Does it really feature Habanero peppers? Yep! What about Saigon Cinnamon? Ding! Aji and Del Arbol peppers? Winner. I round it all out with a hearty malt bill that makes for a spicy brew that puts the “Fun” back in Pumpkin. (Spelling was never my strength). — Voodoo Ranger”

Random: This beer comes in at 10 IBUs.

The beer poured with an off white head that was a finger high. It took a little bit of time to go away and left a small crown on top of the body, but no lacing. The body was clear and bright orange in color with moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with the normal pumpkin spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and some vanilla as well. The taste started with sweetness and went into pumpkin spice. It had cinnamon, nutmeg and some ginger as well. Right at the back of my tongue, the hot peppers kicked in and they were pleasantly spicy. I enjoy spicy things, so this was right in my wheelhouse. The body was on the medium side with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with hot peppers. Once they kicked in, it muted all of the pumpkin spices that were present. A bottle of this was $1.58, which came to $.13 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer, but one was certainly enough for me. If you’re into pumpkin and hot peppers, this was a really interesting beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA

Since I’m terrible of keeping track of dates, I completely missed the 8 year anniversary of the blog (which was in June). I started off reviewing Allagash White, which I loved (and still do to this day). The format has changed over the 8 years, but I never thought that when I started this 8 years ago that I would keep it up this long. Hopefully I keep it up for at least another 8 years.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Packed with bright tropical aromas and brilliant citrusy flavors, this unfiltered IPA wraps up with a pleasantly smooth finish.”

Random: This beer comes in at 42 IBUs.

The beer poured with a two finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The beer poured with some floaties and was golden-yellow in color with a lot of carbonation and obviously, haziness. The nose started with a lot of citrus. I specifically picked up oranges, tangerines and tangelos. There wasn’t much on the tropical fruit front. The taste had a touch of yeast, but then went into lots and lots of citrus. The orange came through, quickly followed by tangerines and grapefruit. It had a lot of orange juice as well, but not a tropical fruit that I could find. The body was medium thickness with a lot of carbonation. It had a sticky finish with high carbonation. I picked up the pounder can for $1.92, which came to $.12 per ounce. This beer was pretty good and the price made this an absolutely steal. Give it a try, for sure.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

New Belgium Fat Tire And Friends Fat Pale Ale

It’s been awhile since I tried a mixed twelve pack, but I got the last New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends one. This is the final beer from the series.

ABV: 6%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We’ll set the scene. 1988. Belgium. Boy on bike. (Ok, make that a young man of 32.) As our aspiring young homebrewer rides his mountain bike with ‘fat tires’ through European villages famous for beer, New Belgium Brewing Company was but a glimmer in his eye. Or basement. For Jeff Lebesch would return to Fort Collins with an imagination full of recipes and a handful of ingredients ready to embark on a whole new journey. And then there was beer. Jeff’s first two basement-brewed creations? A brown dubbel with earthy undertones named Abbey and a remarkably well-balanced amber he named Fat Tire. To say the rest was history would be to overlook his wife’s involvement. Kim Jordan was New Belgium’s first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer, and financial planner, as well as the company’s longtime CEO. In the fall of 2015, Jordan passed the torch to New Belgium’s current CEO Christine Perich”

Random: We saw “Wonder Woman” this past weekend and it was only alright. It didn’t help that people were kicking my chair the whole time.

The beer poured with a two finger, slightly off white head that dissipated at a moderate pace. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose was a lot of malt up front with very little hops. It had a touch of sourness too. The taste was all nutty malt, overwhelmingly so. It had some grass as well, but the hops faded on this one. There was also some lemon-lime soda as well. The body was medium thickness with moderate and enough carbonation. The finish was lengthy and malty. I don’t remember what I paid for this beer since it was part of a mixed twelve pack, but I thought it was only alright.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

New Belgium Side Trip Semi-Dry Cider

Wedding planning has taken over my life. I’m about 50 reviews in the hole and the closer we to February, the less time that I think I’m going to have. We’ve decided on a venue, which is about the only thing we’ve decided on. We both love the venue (it’s historic, not a wedding factory and has really cute fire tables) and it’s not too far from our house, although it’s equally inconvenient to every other person attending the wedding. More about that in some reviews to come, let’s get to the cider.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: Cider

Trivia: This is made at their new Asheville, North Carolina facility.

Random: The show “Quantico” keeps getting more confusing every season.

This cider poured with less than a quarter finger of pure white head. It disappeared before I got a chance to take the picture. The body was clear and had a greenish-yellow tint and moderate carbonation. The nose had green apple skins and apple juice. It had very little else. The taste was also simple. It had the same green apple skins with tart apple juice. It had some honey sweetness to it and some white grape juice. I kept taking sips, searching for some depth, but this was a relatively simple cider. It was quite dry and had lacking carbonation. It was almost too thin as well. The finish was quick with apple juice. The can was $2.75, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. I thought this was a good introductory cider that didn’t pull any punches, but was a bit boring for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA

I’m really enjoying Samantha Bee’s show. She’s not quite as good as John Oliver, but a close second. She has a lot of political material lately to say the least. Anyways, let’s talk about something more pleasant, like beer.

voodoorangerimperialipa

ABV: 9%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A rare blend of choice hops creates an explosion of fresh-cut pine and citrus flavors for a complex, rich and delicious flavor.”

Random: I still want to try the other beers from the Voodoo series.

This brew poured with a two finger, loose, tan-colored head. It took forever to dissipate and left lots of spiderweb lacing on the glass, along with a half a finger crown. The body was clear, but dark orange that bordered on brown. It had a lot of carbonation visible. The scent started as green and herbal with pine oil and some tea tree oil too. It had citrus flesh, specifically oranges and grapefruits, but they were bordering on overripe. The taste was a bit muddled. It had the same pine oil along with grapefruit zest. It had some sage or another green herb that was hard to place. The alcohol was apparent on this. Caramel malt was a minor flavor at the end. The body was thick, but appropriate for the style. It had a lot of carbonation, which made it go down easier. It had a lengthy finish with pine and old citrus zest. A bottle of this set me back $1.83 ($.15 per ounce). I thought this beer was alright, but some of the flavors weren’t integrated well.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

New Belgium Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale (Ben & Jerry’s Collaboration)

One of my favorite flavors of ice cream is cookie dough, so when New Belgium put out a cookie dough beer, even though I wasn’t sold that it would be great, I wanted to try it.

newbelgiumchocolatechipcookie

ABV: 6%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream beer. This winter, dip into the fridge—not just the freezer—to find a dozen ways to sate your sweet tooth. Our newest collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s brings together two different types of pint-makers for one common goal: to fill your glass with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale. To craft this confection, we dove into our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes for inspiration, and then whipped hefty doses of chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla into a dough-hued blonde ale base. The result is a full-bodied beer that seduces with a perfect balance of vanilla and chocolate, and finishes with just the right amount of sweetness. Put down the spoon, pick up a pint. In celebration of this year’s collaboration, New Belgium and Ben & Jerry’s — both B-Corps — are once again joining forces with Protect Our Winters (POW) to create tangible ways to fight climate change just as they did a year ago. Calling this campaign ‘100 Days to Change Our Ways,’ the three socially minded organizations want the new Administration to make climate change a priority during its first 100 days. To rally support, events will be held in 12 cities across the country with letter-writing stations, POW athletes speaking out about the dangers of climate change, raffles, and of course beer and ice cream.”

Random: Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite.

The body poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated at a moderate pace. It left only a little lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with a decent amount of carbonation. The nose had a lot of vanilla and some nuttiness. It didn’t have a definitive cookie dough flavor. The taste started with some grass and quickly went into lactose, vanilla and some cocoa with milk chocolate chips. It had some doughy malt as well. They nailed the cookie dough note. The body was light with moderate carbonation. It had a quick and sweet finish with white sugar and lactose. The bottle was $1.58, which came to $.13 per ounce. This beer was a bit gimmicky, but I liked the flavor. I wouldn’t want more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0